Flavored oils pt 1/2

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
4 \N Red bell peppers (up to 5)
\N \N Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Bunch cilantro
\N \N Extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups Fresh pink-grapefruit juice, strained
¼ cup Canola oil
2 tablespoons Ground spice (you can make this infused oil with any spice you like - try chile or curry powder)
1 cup Canola oil
1 quart Extra-virgin olive oil
4 \N Branches of fresh basil, preferably with blossoms
1 tablespoon Black peppercorns
1 teaspoon Sea salt
½ \N Medium-sized red pepper, seeded and slivered.

BELL PEPPER OIL

CILANTRO OIL

PINK GRAPEFRUIT OIL

SPICE OIL

BASIL OIL

Flavored Oils --- Safety Factor Garlic- and herb-infused oils and spreads taste great but, if left unrefrigerated, they may be unsafe.

According to FDA, mixtures such as garlic or herbs packed in salad oil can foster life-threatening bacteria when left unrefrigerated. These bacteria (Clostridium botulinum) live on produce, including garlic, and are harmless in oxygen or air. However ----- without air, the bacteria can produce toxins that cause botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning.

Refrigeration is necessary because all other conditions that favor growth of Clostridium botulinum are met: pH higher than 4⅗, anaerobic conditions (soil), food and moisture source (garlic), not boiled before eating.

When making a flavored oil mixture, be sure to use a recipe from a reliable source. Among the above, oil products containing limited amounts of dried herbs are safest from botulism poisoning. That is because the dried herbs do not produce enough moisture to support the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Oil products made with whole chilies, garlic and other fruits or vegetables are the most risky and dried tomatoes in oil are somewhere in between. For all -- the bottom line -- refrigerated storage!! This provides a sure-fire safety factor against the growth of C. botulium.

Bob Pastorio - in answer to your question about vinaigrette -- the vinegar aspect of the vinaigrette may insure safety. It acts pretty much as a preservative in conjunction with the oil. Again -- refrigeration is mandatory. Quite honestly, I do not make vinaigrettes as I am strictly a Ranch Dressing person -- boring but true! Anyway, you may want to consult the Vinegar Institute (I posted address/phone yesterday).

Another suggestion I recently read was to prepare the oil/vinegar concoctions in small quantities that will be used in a few days. If you prepare the vinaigrette and leave it at room temperature for many hours, it should be disposed of at the end of the day. If you prepare in small quantities, you will not be wasting a lot. When you refill your cruet or bottle, make sure you sterilize between usage.

RECIPES ---

BELL PEPPER OIL (from Martha Stuart): Put peppers through a jluice extractor; they shoudl yield about 1 cup of juice. In a small saucepan over low heat, reduce by half; strain. Pour into a clean saucepan and reduce to a syrup; there'll be about ¼ cup.

Pour syrup into a small glass jar and add an equal amount of oil. Cover and shake well; store in the refrigerator and use within two weeks.

Shake before using. Makes ½ cup.

CILANTRO OIL (you can also use basil, parsley or mint) (From Martha Stewart): Blanch cilantro leaves and someof the stems. Refresh under cold water; pat dry. Puree in a blender along with an equal amount of oil. Pour into a small glass jar and add twice as much oil as puree mixture. Cover and shake well.

Refrigerate oil overnight. Bring back to room temperature and pour through a strainer lined with damp cheesecloth. Do not press on the solids.

Refrigerate oil, covered up to 2 weeks.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT OIL (Martha Stewart): In a saucepan over medium heat, reduce the juice to a thick syrup, about ¼ cup. Cobine with oil in a small glass jar. Cover and shake well. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Shake before using. Makes ¼ cup.

continued in part 2

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